Although statistics have shown that incidents of road accidents are on the decline*, they are still an unfortunate reality. For those who use the roads to make a living, such as heavy vehicle fleets and operators, even a minor scrape can cause significant headache – regardless of where the blame lies. According to Michael Fugl, Director at video and camera technology firm Geobox, one of the most common scenarios stems from passenger car drivers’ lack of heavy vehicle awareness. “Many car drivers don’t realise that trucks have different braking capabilities to their own, and cut in front into the space the heavy vehicle driver left,” Michael says. “In many cases, the blame for a subsequent rear-end collision is pointed at the heavy vehicle, and the driver often can’t prove their innocence.”
To ensure they can prove their innocence in such an instance, Michael says many fleets and operators are turning to in-vehicle camera technology, such as dash cams. “One of the most popular packages from Geobox is a multi-camera system with DVR, which constantly records and stores video looking in front of the vehicle, into the cab, and either side of the trailer,” Michael says. “This provides clear evidence in the case of an unfounded accusation, which can save operators thousands of dollars from paying for something that wasn’t their fault.”
Constantly recording high definition video creates a lot of data to be stored, and many products use ‘looped’ systems that record over themselves after a few hours, potentially erasing evidence, Michael explains. However, the hard drives on the Geobox systems can record 300–400 hours of footage, which he says is ideal for long-haul operations. “We also offer a wireless video monitoring option, so operators can log in from a desktop or mobile app at any time to see what is happening in real time, or to play back historical footage” Michael adds. “To ensure the cameras aren’t chewing up data the DVR sends snippets back to base for triage when there’s an event. An event can be triggered by an impact or by the driver pressing one button on the dashboard.” According to Michael, city councils, mining operations and national transport clients like Toll Group have embraced the Geobox technology at various levels, choosing from single camera to multi camera packages. “Our technology is here to protect our customers’ reputations, and help control the outcome of an unfortunate scenario” he says.
* Source: Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development